168 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K127 [KALIURANG, 5] [1] June 1948


In close consultation with us the Americans have now drafted an overall plan for a settlement along the lines of paragraph 3 of my telegram K.124. [2] We intend to seek Belgian approval of plan as soon as possible with the object of submitting it to the parties early in the week.

2. Last night, however, Hatta received a letter from Van Mook in which the latter said that he was disturbed to find differences of opinion between the delegations as to the interpretation of the Renville principles. [3] He therefore invited Hatta to Batavia on June 14th to consult with himself and his colleagues as the best means of furthering a settlement.

3. The Committee received a copy of the invitation together with a request from Van Mook that, in view of the delicate situation, the Committee should do nothing which could disturb the matter.

4. Vredenburch who is behind this latest move is seeking delays.

As I have reported earlier, the Dutch policy appears designed to bring about a breakdown without giving the Committee an opportunity to clarify the position of the parties. The latest move will make it most difficult to obtain Herremans' agreement for the submission of an overall plan to the parties.

5. Our probable course will be, (a) to press ahead as far as possible as proposed in paragraph 1.

(b) to suggest to Hatta, in view of Van Mook's implication that talks between the delegations have failed, that (1) he ask the Committee whether it is in a position to assist in negotiations by suggesting a possible settlement, (2) he reply to Van Mook expressing surprise that the latter should suggest bypassing Committee before it has had an opportunity to assist in reaching a settlement of the dispute.

(c) To endeavour to assist the Republic on Russian and Foreign Affairs issues generally on which the Dutch will adopt a tough attitude if Hatta's reply to Van Mook's letter is unsatisfactory.

6. This week will be crucial and I believe it essential that the Committee now take the initiative and keep it. The possibility of strong Dutch diplomatic action in Washington should not be overlooked.

1 The cited copy was dispatched from Batavia at 1 p.m. on 7 June.

2 Document 161.

3 For a summary of this letter see United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for June, pp.147- 8.

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